Purcell's suicidal termites. (Notes for a monologue that should not be staged)
act first: Kamikaze.
The scenery consists of two red armchairs, a sofa, a television, a wooden table and an ashtray.
5:40 in the morning.
Feeling of an apparently tame animal.
Girl sitting on the sofa.
Let's say her name is Alicia.
should listen Dido and Aeneas at a very specific time of the morning (5:40, say) to understand the animal character of that opera. But you should listen to her aria Dido's Lament to understand why Purcell, when he composed it, gave Dido the song and character of a suicidal termite. It would be necessary to arrange the wooden table differently and one would have to lean back on the sofa more calmly to feel that this aria is not a prayer. But we don't want that.
The girl must be a sack of meat on the little red couch. The girl must be a little sleepy. The girl must shout her goodbye from behind a sword that should be less and less imaginary.
She must scream without opening her mouth.
The girl (let's say her name is Alicia) must know that some termites, when they feel threatened, explode. They expel their poison and die. They are corrosive. Kamikazes. It's that simple. The girl has rust under her sternum. (This is a really important detail.)
Note to the stage manager and his minions:
You must be aware that Purcell knew about termites, perhaps without ever having seen the defense mechanisms of such an animal in his life. He knew because he, like his opera, was cursed.
Henry Purcell is not only the composer of the suites and The Tempest, nor is it just one of the great beasts of the Baroque. That too. But it is above all who put Dido to sing a goodbye that had already been written by Virgilio and by many others, that is what matters here. Purcell was the one who gave a liquid scream to all that history, and to the red sofa, and to the rust of the sternum.
It is also important to put the piece in very specific moments of the scene, to overwhelm Alicia, so that Alicia feels that all of life passes at 5:40 in the morning.
second act: Boat.
The window remains open. Behind her the night seems brighter than usual.
You can see, far in the background, a ship setting sail. The ship can also be found in the center of the room, in the place previously occupied by the small wooden table. In this case, it is important to place the ashtray somewhere in the bow.
One of the myths tells that Dido cannot bear that Aeneas leaves Carthage —he says that impelled by the divine wills—. When she sees him go (at night), she picks up all the clothes he left behind, and also his swords. He orders a huge pyre to be erected. It goes up there at dawn. There the sword of Aeneas is stuck, as if the act of plunging the sword into the chest would start the pain. As if a pain were to uproot its own cause.
The last time the girl heard the aria, she was thinking of other deaths, perhaps more symbolic, but just as painful and definitive. He had been dreaming at night of a courtesan who cried verses and tears, and he insisted —unlucky— in drawing the tear on his own face. The girl did not know how to draw her face, and she had been told: "Drawing a tear is an extremely lacerating act."
Ah, but Dido sings her farewell solemnly, and the soprano sighs a lot, cries out her tiny, awful cry, and Dido immolates herself in that song, and the sweetness hurts the girl. A sweetie praying remember me. A sweetie praying Forget My Fate. A sweetness without destiny and without memory.
[Goodbye is a Forget My Fate, and a sweetness without destination and without memory].
The girl begins to cry sweetly, as if she were in pain. —at the same time— the sternum and the departure of Aeneas.
third act: Corneal epithelium.
Scenery without variations, except for a sword of 900 grams and 85 centimeters long.
Dido's voice must be embedded in the chest and say four or five painful verses. The girl must put the sword in a place of the thorax without rib channel (in the second rib, specifically), with this the music should hurt her like an opera never hurt her before. The music must sound threatening.
(The sword is not stuck, or as you prefer).
Dido's death is a physical matter, dear stage manager. The departures hurt physically and then the goodbyes sound louder. There is a soprano goodbye that doesn't let Alicia manage to swallow, doesn't allow her to keep track of the tablecloth she's weaving. She, like Dido, lives in a night of five gigantic tablecloths. It is a strictly physical matter, like the needs of the corneal epithelium, like the functions of a tear.
[Goodbye is a corneal epithelium and the shape of a tablecloth that was lost count].
[Brief description of Alice:
He never sleeps at night. Never. He puts on that music and it's as if dawn were passing in the living room of the house, although outside the walls the night grows calm. The Melatonin makes him laugh, and the recitals on sleep hygiene give him little more than a feeling of resignation.
The night opens majestically outside the house, and she does not come out; Dido renounces all majesty, plunges a sword into the center of her room, claims the memory on a floor flooded with memories].
fourth act: Baroque must be death.
Scenery without variations.
Alicia hands Dido the sword, helps her to die and at the same time Dido helps her contain the visions. They both feel like offering a shout to the termites. Both merge in the middle of the room, in the same body. The viewer should not notice who is who.
Alicia and Dido submerge themselves in a symbolic death, in an oblivion that is called Aeneas, that is called Night, that is called So-and-so.
Alicia and Dido tear the rust from their chests under the saddest opera of all time.
And baroque must be death.
In the fragment that says Forget My Fate for the last time, both must have torn from their chests that rust called Aeneas, or Night, or So-and-so.
[The goodbye is a sad opera and a rust with the name of those who left].
Note to the reader:
There is an hour in the morning when we are all absolutely alone. It doesn't matter who is by our side, everything becomes a lump of flesh and bones, and any attempt to combat loneliness is worse. At that time it is inconvenient to play music, it is true. The best thing is to get out of bed, make an infusion or put on makeup, like the old whores you've loved so much. It is also convenient to turn on the television, to find out that the world exists. There is nothing more mundane than the man on the news or the sleeping hand trying to make up a mouth that is also sleeping. The girl puts on music because she fervently believes that it will save her. She puts on Dido's make-up so that she dies like an old whore, puts her on make-up in front of the television to see if the man on the news changes his face and announces that Queen Dido has just died in the living room of an unknown house. None of this actually happens, or does it. The opera continues, the opera makes the girl cry termites and farewells [as if a pain were to uproot its own cause].
fifth act: Don't trouble.
(Optional and interactive).
You must play the opera (specifically the aria) urgently, preferably at 5:40 in the morning. If you sleep early, nothing happens. At 7:00 at night it will also hurt.
Then think of your last final goodbye. I would like you to cry a few tears. I would like you to feel bad for a moment, just for a moment.
Crying is purifying and immerses us in memories. Crying is the liquid form of life. The pain leaks through the corneal epithelium, trust me. I cried. I cried a little. It is necessary to become Dido, to recognize the rust.
It is necessary to be behind a small wooden table. You need to re-invoke.
Put on the opera. Tonight be a girl who does not know how to draw a tear on her own face.
Alternative ending: The 5:40 syndrome.
The girl cries and is relieved, writes something on a piece of paper. The room is stripped of ships and swords. The girl closes the window. The night continues to advance. What does it matter to the night?
She goes to her room with a slight burning in her eyes, she also has pain in a place in her chest without the costal canal (near the second rib, specifically). But the skin is flawless. (Woe to the wounds that cannot be seen and that hurt so much…).
The scene is almost empty, except for a half-done tablecloth, and a bit of rust in a corner of the room.
The girl (let's say her name is Alicia) turns off the lights.
The opera continues.
[The last time the girl said goodbye was 5:40 in the morning. Dido blew herself up at that time too.
The night is a rather hostile habitat.
Ah, but the sun always rises through some corner of the sky without a rib channel (through the second rib, specifically). The girl is already sleeping, the curtain is already down,
From the position of the sun, it must be 7:10 in the morning.
You will be able to believe me when I tell you that everything will be over.
However, dear reader,
there is always a memory that turns to rust, although we possess the impulse to pretend that we are not called Alicia. There is always a Purcell who opens the night with his cursed opera, there is always a Purcell who changes our name. Waiting for the pain always hurts more than the pain itself, you know that.
And you know that it's always, unfortunately, 5:39 somewhere in the chest].